Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chard Pie

Approximately 2 1/2 pounds of tomatoes are thinly sliced.

Three pounds of chard is steamed and then rinsed in cold water.

Fistful of fresh thyme.

Eight cloves worth of minced garlic, 4 tbls of olive oil and thyme heated on low.

Chard is squeezed and rough chopped and added to the pan. Sauted for ten minutes.

10 oz of cheese, shredded.

Using an oiled cheese cake pan, bread is layered first, then tomatoes, then chard, and then cheese.

Repeated until the pan is filled. Pressed down to compress the layers and then baked at 400 degrees for thirty minutes.

Set out to cool for 10 minutes and then removed from the form.

Sliced and served with steamed zucchini and watermelon.

You can use any kind of vegetable combination you'd like for this pie. Such as tomato and zucchini or onion, garlic, and leek. Use your imagination!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Peppercorn Beef Tenderloin with Tomato, Onion and Cucumber Salad

The organic tenderloin marinated in cracked peppercorns, powdered onion, celery salt, soy sauce and malt vinegar.

Grilled with large moist portobello mushrooms, this tenderloin reached 145 degrees very quickly. It sliced beautifully and was juicy and tender.

Served with olive tapenade and olive goat cheese, and an onion, tomato and cucumber  salad.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The IN Crowd

Christa Glennie Seychew of Feed Your Soul and the Sea Bar presented the first of a series of events. Held in the contemporary main room at Sea Bar, IN is an industry night like no other. Open to the general public, but ideally focused on creating a fun opportunity to eat, drink and hang out with restaurant people, IN will feature free tastings, special guest appearances, and friendly competitions. 

Held on the first and third Monday of every month, last night, July 23rd, was the first. The whole series will take place at the Sea Bar at 475 Ellicott Street in Downtown Buffalo, from 9 to midnight.

To celebrate the launch of the IN event series, Buffalo's cocktail kings styled beverages using classic and modern techniques to showcase Buffalo's growing mixology scene.

Here you can see Drew Love, Bar Manager at Cantina Loco, crafting his El Otra Mundo. Del Maguey Vida, Cynar, fresh lime juice, orange and grapefruit bitters shaken and then garnished with truffle sea salt foam and grilled grapefruit.

Guests sampled drinks featuring rum, cognac, mezcal, and whiskey crafted by expert barkeeps Cameron Rector and Jon Karel of Vera, Tony Rials of Mike A at Hotel Lafayette, Chef James Roberts of Park Country Club, and Drew Love of Cantina Loco.

This is James Roberts, Park Country Club's Executive Chef, using nitrogen to create his cocktail Caipirinha Brasilaira. A blend of sugar cane and key lime force-infused Brazilian Cachaca sorbet, house-made caramelized sugar can soda and finger lime caviar.

Christine Sismondo, author of "America Walks into a Bar: A Spirited History of Taverns and Saloons, Speakeasies and Grog Shops" and "Mondo Cocktail" came from Toronto to join in on the festivities. 

Light snacks were provided by Sea Bar's Chef/Owner Mike Andrzejewski and Chefs JJ and Kevin Richert from their brand new BBQ, Smoke on the Water.

Lloyd showed up around 11 o'clock and offered their stellar tacos to balance out the evening's offerings.

Tony Rials, Bartender at Mike A at Hotel Lafayette, created a smooth blended cognac. The drink included hazelnut washed cognac, toasted apricot pit cognac, Amaro Bassano, hazelnut bitters with a piece of hazelnut glass (candy) with red sea salt.

Lake Effect Ice Cream dished out their limited edition ice cream, Honey Pot. Taking inspiration from a Vera cocktail of the same name, Honey Pot is a blend of bourbon, sweet vermouth, fresh lemon, bitters and Fiegel Apiary's honey.

Giveaways were provided by KegWorks, a Buffalo gem when it comes to booze and booze making gear.

The last cocktail of the evening came courtesy of Jon Karel, Bar Manager at Vera. He offered up a modern spin on a traditional sailer's drink. The North Star is a mix of Rittenhouse Rye, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, egg white, absinthe with cinnamon, Angostura bitters and a star anise garnish.
Christa told Jon about my egg allergy and he had one prepped just for me. Hands down, best drink of the night!

This was an excellent event, I connected with a number of people that I knew online but hadn't met in person yet and networked with others who were interested in SOLE of Buffalo. I look forward to going to the next one on August 6th, where the focus with be on olives and their oils, and a fine selection of freshly sliced prosciutto and bread baked just for the event will be offered.

Thank you to all who worked to pull off this extra special first event!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

No Mayonnaise Potato Salad - No Eggs!

Two Saturdays ago, while visiting the Bidwell Farmers Market, I stopped at the Lexington Co-op's tent and tried out their Potato Salad.

Potato salad usually makes me very sad. All those delicious potatoes coated in mayonnaise. Damn you allergy! You suck!

But these have nary a dollop of mayo, vegan or egg. And taste divine!

1 1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1⁄3 cup olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 cup basil leaves, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash and chop the potatoes (skin on) into bite-sized chunks, place them in a large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the salt and pepper. 

Place the potatoes on a sheet pan and roast until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.

While the potatoes are baking, place the lemon juice, mustard, parmesan cheese and minced garlic together in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to emulsify, then add the fresh basil and mix well. Pour the dressing over the cooled potatoes and mix well. 

I served this with patty pan squash, grilled cauliflower and a blue cheeseburger wrap.

This gets better the following day so I recommend that if you're planning on taking this to a party, prep and refrigerate over night.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Five Points Bakery

Five Points Bakery is on the corner of Rhode Island and Brayton facing West Utica. Sitting side by side with Urban Roots, the Arts & Crafts inspired design is easy on the eyes and a soothing escape from the daily grind.

The loaves of bread line the wall and fill baskets. The scent of golden crisp wheat fills the air. Each baked item the same hue, a russet colored whole wheat. There is an earthy tang in the air too from the freshly brewed coffee.

Coolers are filled with milk, cheese, yogurt, meats, eggs and more. The shelves have coffee, honey, beeswax, soap, jams, sunflower seed oil and molasses.

They serve organic tea and coffee and delightful pastries and toast.

Melissa iced hand sized cinnamon rolls while my tea steeped on the counter.

Coffee cakes, rolls and other sweets sit under glass domes.

Well sugared scones piled like a fairy's tent, wait for a sweet tooth.

The bagged loaves of heavy scented apple cider bread are lined neatly in their basket on the counter.

I ordered the lavender mint tea and...

...the special. The seeded loaf had bits of onion hidden in it. Served with Farm style soft cheese and strawberry jam, it was too easy to shmear on too much.

What a delightful way to spend a moment. If you find yourself in the Westside with a grumbly belly, stop in and visit with Kevin and Melissa.

Five Points Bakery on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile

Owner and Cheesemonger, Jill Forster runs the Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile, a specialty shop that breathes classic European crèmerie. After receiving training at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont, Jill worked in a number of restaurants until moving to Boston where she began learning about cheese. Over the past few years she gained experience in all aspects of cheese, from production to sale, culminating in moving back into the WNY area and opening this delightful shop.
The main case is full of cheese and specialty meats, like Bleu D'auvergne 'Terre des Volcan'. A raw milk blue which has a creamier, less salty flavor compared to its sister roquefort. 
While still pungent and full flavored, it is more buttery and moist than other types of blues. Great as a salad dressing, table cheese or base for pasta sauce, or eating straight out of it's packaging like Bob and I did.

Olives and pickled peppers and soft spreads are displayed well, inviting you to load up your bag with sharp, salty and intensely flavored foods.

I loved the brilliant afternoon light pouring in the front windows. 

Jill created this light fixture herself from milk bottles!

The shop is superbly dressed with antique furniture and crisp linens and bright green potted plants.

Jams, jellies, candies, crackers and sweets line the shelves.

The most unique canistered sweet being the goat's milk caramels. Soft, salty and milky sweet.

Bars of chocolates and quince membrillo and chocolate dipped figs are all stacked neatly, encouraging you to toss more in your basket than you probably need.

Sodas, meat sticks and more cheese line the second tall open case.

Jill also makes mac & cheese and sandwiches and from what other guests have said, they are outstanding!

This visit was such a nice change from the crowded and jumbled cheese cases in the local grocery stores. The variety and Jill's friendly nature are sure to have me returning again soon and often.

Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile on Urbanspoon